I freely admit getting critique is tough. It's difficult to hear that one's writing, one's baby, is not perfect. And sometimes feedback isn't helpful. In general, critique should be about how something is written, not what is written.
Here are some critique group tips from Rocky Mountain Fiction Writers:
- Offering Critique:
- Begin with positive comments.
- Comments should be specific and about things like viewpoint, structure, characters, word choice, etc.
- Note any confusion you had as a reader and/or questions that were raised.
- Be sure you separate the character/narrator from the author. Don't assume the author is the character/narrator.
- Comment on the work itself, and not the subject matter or related philosophies, etc.
- End with something positive.
- Receiving Critique:
- Just listen and/or take notes. Do not argue, explain or defend.
- Don't be intimidated or depressed by the feedback. Honest feedback is a valuable tool for improving one's writing.
- Don't take everyone's critique as gospel. You are the boss of your writing. Don't make changes before careful consideration.
- If a critique group isn't working for you, by all means, quit and look for another group.